Friday, November 22, 2013

Getting Back to "Normal"

This week in our home Mommy and Daddy got a little fed up with dust and clutter and began to really clean the house. Now that it's beginning to look like a real home again since we're finally in our own bedroom (yes, I'm still loving it!) we look around each day and see something else that we can do to straighten and clean up. We sort of started this last week by getting around to some of the dusting that really needed to be done, and we've just kept going from there. Our room had been being used as a storage room almost since the day we'd moved in and we finally got around to decluttering it. I still need to go through all of my clothing and dresser drawers but that will be tackled in the next day or two. All the animals got another bath this week (well, other than the bird) and for the moment that means three clean and content furries wandering around the house. My kitchen is clean, the counters are again mostly decluttered, and I'm loving how it's set up. The goal is to have the entire house clean and organized by Thanksgiving and at this rate we'll make it.

In our school we've continued to make progress with our lessons. ECJ is learning at a very decent rate and is currently in his own room again at his desk. He starts his days out at the dining room table with the rest of us to do the daily binders and then moves to his own room. We made a small school room type area in the extended part of our living room and this is where the girls and I move to after our binders are finished. This has made for rapid progress of each day for us. Peanut likes being at her big girl school desk and moves through her lessons mostly without complaint. Once she's finished with her book work and goes over to Mommy's computer to do some learning YCJ is able to get more of my undivided attention without distraction. This helps her move through the tougher subjects (for her) quicker and makes sure she is less stressed out. She's also able to do her computer work right at her desk as her netbook fits neatly, case and all, right inside of it for storage. 

We'll be concentrating on nature/ecology studies for the next couple of weeks in all "grade" levels. This means more nature walks, nature journaling, identifying plants, learning what the animals are doing to prepare for winter, etc. And I'll again be attempting to get our MI and KY state units finished, tying in as much nature and history as I possibly can.

We also used our first coupons for Book IT! The children absolutely loved getting their own pizza with the topping of their choice on it and Peanut said it was just the right size. The also received their reading passports when we picked up the pizzas, they'll be filling in the first part of the passport today and then one a month as they get their new stickers. I can really see how this is going to help them stay on track with their reading goals. Free pizza, stickers, and continued trips to the library (which they like) ... all combine to make happy reading children, which in turn makes Mommy happy. Win win situation. 
Before we cleaned
her room...

In preschool Peanut is just finishing up with the letter I. We've been working really hard all week on getting 0-10 mastered: saying them in the right order, counting ten objects, recognising the numbers when she see them, and the abstract idea of 0. We've made 0 into a super-hero imaginary friend for all numbers to help with this idea and she's really liking the imagery. We'll be making a story for each number at least until 29 over the next several week/months and may just continue on from there. This really helps her to remember them (I'll be sharing some of them at a later date). We made toilet paper tube people for 0-10 and she spends time playing with them almost every day. She's still right on track to move onto Kindergarten in late winter or early spring.

In third grade YCJ is chugging along nicely. Some days are like pulling teeth to get her to read and write but she'll fly through math with no issue. We're working as often as we can on her reading skills, even when she's helping me in the kitchen she will read out the next instruction for me if we're using a mix. The light green paper is really helping her keep her words from getting mixed up so I'm really glad I was able to find some note cards at the dollar store with the exact shade of green that works for her. Her favorite things are still anything to do with crafts or creating so we're making sure to incorporate a lot of them into our weeks.
Identifying leaves.

In sixth grade ECJ is doing nicely in his studies. Thoroughly enjoying Apologia General Science and is pleased that we'll be using Apologia again next year for him. We've found Little Women! Which means that after he turns in his report for The Lord of the Rings Trilogy he'll be moving right along to Little Women. He does claim that he doesn't know how it could have possibly ended up under Peanut's bed. I'm guessing that he'll be starting to read it, from the beginning, December 2nd. He's ready to be challenged more in History and that means I may just have to get a research paper assignment made up for him on at least one of the major points of American history.

Two tips I can share this week:

Tip number one: A friend of mine who's son is already doing Kindergarten work shared with me the following little song she made up, to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star:

The numbers 20's start with 2, I know my 20's how 'bout you? The numbers 30's start with three, The 30 numbers are easy The numbers 40's start with four, Forty numbers aren't a bore

Thank you very much Miki Friend Chambers for sharing this with me and allowing me to share it with everyone else.

Tip number two is a piece of advice I heard/read recently that I wish to share with all of you. I'd give the lady who shared it to begin with all the credit for it if I could only find her name and ask her permission. Instead I'll simply thank her here and ask God to bless her for reminding me to think before opening my mouth.

WAIT ... It stands for "Why am I talking?" Before you open your mouth to yell, or lecture, or otherwise berate somebody tell yourself, "WAIT". IF after you have thought about why you're talking it still makes sense to say whatever it is you wanted to say remind yourself to be gentle in doing so. Yelling does not get your point across any better.
Reading from Woods Walk
right before we identified
 * Nope, I have no sense of fashion today obviously ;-)

Reading about KY
while the campers identify
YCJ reading a Winter
book to Peanut

What we're reading this week is almost everything and we're doing it all over the house. Normally I am the only one who reads in the living room, for some reason all week long there has been reading being done by almost everyone in the living room. They're still reading in their bedrooms, but now they are branching out to different rooms ... including *ahem* the bathroom. And when I say we're reading almost everything it seems like this is the week where I have somewhere around five books I'm reading at the same time, ECJ has two or three books he's reading right now (Oops, make that two, he just finished The Lord of the Rings trilogy!), YCJ even is in the process of finishing up a book as I type this so that she can move on to her new library book. Everyone, has spent the entire day listening to her read this book. 0f course Peanut's favorite is still Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.

Our Thankful leaf wall continues to grow each and every day. I had planned on them only adding to it on week days but they do it every day. I guess they've figured out that they have a lot to be thankful for! I can't figure out how to get this picture turned right side up for this unfortunately. With less than a week to go before Thanksgiving we're running out of room!

Plans for next week are only shared on our Facebook page each Sunday. However, I will say that next week aught to be exciting and different for us.

Holiday planning is coming along wonderfully. Our next decorations for Christmas will be going up sometime right before Thanksgiving and we won't be done decorating until sometime during the first few weeks of December. I'm making some plans for Advent in our lessons and our days for next month. As for Thanksgiving, we'll be going to Grandma's house for dinner and enjoying her wonderful cooking again this year. Of course we'll be watching the Macy's Parade on television and I'm sure the guys will be watching sports on Papa's big TV.

This week we're linking up with Homegrown Learners and Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers  AND Faithful Mom... , one more at Great Peace Academy for:

Posts you may have missed this week:
Bucket List - Science Projects - and 0-10
Dark Decembers - Be the Light
Marvelous Menu Mania
Meet the Campers - The Rest of Us
Important Reasons to go Outside
Returning to an Old Favorite
Stirring It Up


  1. Happy Thanksgiving! Huzzah to your week!

    1. Thank you! Happy Thanksgiving to you as well!

  2. Hi Chrystal,
    I found you at Collage Friday. Stopping in to say "Hi" and check out your school. I love that Spelling book! We used those for 5 years. :) You've kept a busy week this week. It's so cute to see your Littles being so diligent in their work. I like "Little Women" I will be curious to hear your son's take on it.
    I too host a week in review "This Week..." and would like to invite you over to link up with me.
    ~~ Renee at

    1. Hi Renee,
      I'll be curious as to his take on "Little Women" as well ... considering he "lost" it for over two months. It was supposed to be the first assigned book this year, a few days into reading it it mysteriously came up missing ;-). Found just the other day under the way back corner of Peanut's bed.
      I will be sure to link up with you!
      ~ Chrystal

  3. We love nature study around our house, too. And decluttering seems to be a never ending chore for us. - I am looking forward to tackling the Lord of the Rings - that will probably happen next year for us. We want to finish the Narnia series first! You guys accomplished so much this week. Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    1. He really enjoyed Lord of the Rings, although he was a bit intimidated as I have the trilogy all in one large book instead of the three separate books. I re-read it last year and just KNEW that he'd love it. We'll be moving on to Narnia sometime in the spring or summer, that boy just devours books! Happy Thanksgiving to you as well!

  4. I love the little numbers poem. My kids always loved putting learning to little tunes.
    Blessings, Dawn

    1. I loved it when she shared it with me, it was an instant request that I be allowed to share it with others. When YCJ was a bit younger we set all of her spelling words to a tune... sometimes she'll still sing them as she's writing.

      Thanks for commenting! I love hearing from everyone!

  5. Decluttering is so hard but so worth it! Clutter makes me nervous! I'm sure having a new room is wonderful too! I love nature studies but apparently I'm the only one around here who does! Jeremiah doesn't really like to read anything either other than computer game rules that is, but I do require him to read a few books each year! I hope you all have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving Holiday! Enjoy having it at Grandma's house!

    1. I hope your holiday goes well! My decluttering of my dressers hasn't even started yet! *wince* But, I had fun with the kids that counts right?